I love it when two artists who seemingly have no similarities and come from completely different circles of the music world team up for a joint project. A recent example of this that was super high quality is the Silk Sonic collaboration from Anderson.Paak and Bruno Mars. Both of these artists were very big in their own right and seemingly had nothing to do with each other(with Bruno Mars being one of the biggest Pop stars of the 2010s and Anderson.Paak being popular in the R&B and Hip Hop worlds), but they randomly came together in 2021 and delivered one of the best albums of that year. Similar to Silk Sonic, KAYTRANADA and Aminé are two artists who do not have much(public) association with each other that decided to come together to create the group KAYTRAMINÈ in 2023. KAYTRAMINÉ and Aminé are two popular artists that have always lived on the outskirts of the mainstream in their respective genres(with KAYTRANADA being a producer in the R&B and House music scenes and Aminé being in the Hip Hop scene). Even though both artists have had some major hits and have seen a lot of success, neither have them have ever been necessarily been considered a household name. They are artists that big fans of their genres have always loved and appreciated, but more casual fans of the genres may not know well. KAYTRANADA and Aminé have always had styles that are off the beaten path and have always stuck out among their peers, so when this project was announced I was excited to see what they could do because they have so much potential to make something cool and different. With that being said, here is how I feel about Kaytranada and Aminés new project KAYTRAMINÉ. Please let me know in the comments below what your favorite songs are from this record and also comment on how you feel about it as a whole.
KAYTRAMINÉ gets this record started off on a gritty and dark note with the song ‘Who He Iz.’ This song has the kind of filthy funk sound to it that has me making the “stank face” when I hear it. The track is driven by a nasty bassline, and the melody is provided by otherworldly synths. The synths in the melody have a bit of New Wave feel which sort of makes the song sound like it came from an alternate reality of the1980s. KAYTRANADA is usually known for faster and more radiant-sounding instrumentals, so this is an interesting shift for him. Aminé’s vocal delivery fits this song so well. His flow is so even-keeled and silky; it drives the song forward so well. On ‘Who He Iz,’ Aminé is rapping about how even though he feels disrespected by others sometimes, he is comfortable and confident in who he is. ‘letstalkaboutit,’ featuring Freddie Gibbz, completely shifts from the tone that the first track had. Instead of being driven by a bassline, this song is driven by the snares and hi-hats of a drum kit. There is an underlying deep bass line in this song, but it is faded and is not the focus of the beat. The melody of this song is provided by that bass line, a keyboard riff, and a bunch of synths that sound like chimes. The way that the drums are arranged and the way that the chime sounds are positioned gives the song an upbeat jazz sound. This track sort of sounds like a fusion between faded Deep House music and Jazz Fusion. Aminé’s performance on this song is solid, but the real standout is Freddie Gibbz. I love how his harsh and intense voice contrasts Aminé’s and gives the song so much texture and life. On ‘letstalkaboutit,’ Aminé and Freddie Gibbz are rapping about how they have the means to give their girl whatever her heart can desire. ‘4EVA,’ which features Pharrell Williams, is the only track that was released as a single in anticipation of the record. This song got a lot of people very excited about this project. This track has a sound that is pretty close to what most people would expect to hear from KAYTRANADA. The song is driven by a chill and fun House beat, and its melody has a groovy R&B tone that is provided by some Synths and horns. I am not going to lie, as much as so many people loved this song, it underwhelmed me a bit. The instrumental is alright for me, but it just does do a ton for me. Neither Aminé nor Pharrell stands out to me much on this track. Both of them have fine performances, but they do not do much that draws me in or makes me want to come back to the track. On ‘4EVA,’ Pharrell and Aminé are trying to convince their girl that she should stay for the long term because they can be great together if she does. ‘Westside’ is the first track that strays away from the Dance music theme the first few songs had. This is a gloomy Trap track that has a bit of an underground feeling to it. The song is driven by a distorted and fierce Trap beat, and the melody has a foreboding and dramatic tone. I dig how intricate this melody is. The main component of the melody is provided by a slow and murky piano riff, and the melody is complemented by a complex piano riff that is kind of set in the background; the more complex piano riff in the background gives the song a layer that it needs. Aminé’s performance on this song is excellent. He switches his flow multiple times and varies his vocal tone at multiple points. Aminé shows how diverse of a rapper he can be on this short track and it is cool to see. On ‘Westside,’ Aminé takes on a braggadocious demeanor and states that he knows how great he is.
‘Master P,’ which features Big Sean and Jazz Cartier(who is solely on the chorus), sticks with the underground Trap feeling that the last song had. When I listened to this song for the first time, the melody(which comes in before the beat) threw me off, because it has the kind of tone that I would expect in one of KAYTRANADA’s signature R&B-infused House tracks. The melody is mainly driven by a vocal sample from a song by popular Indian singer Mahendra Kapoor. It sounds like this vocal sample is reversed, giving the song an ethereal feeling. The beat of this song is punchy and hard-hitting; the buzzing bass drums and distorted Hi-hats give the song such a dirty feeling. The rap performances from Aminé and Big Sean match the energy of the instrumental well. They both rap with a lot of fervor and urgency, giving the song a vigorous feeling. On ‘Master P,’ Aminé and Big Sean are rapping about how they do not think anyone should doubt them because they know how great they can be. ‘Rebuke’ is a song that keeps the Hip Hop feeling that the last couple of songs had; instead of having a Trap sound, though, this one has an old school Jazzy R&B feeling. This is the kind of instrumental I would expect to hear someone like Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, or Anthony Hamilton on. I really enjoy the melody of this song. It is provided by an electric guitar and it has a romantic and tropical feeling to it. This is the kind of song I would love to hear while chilling on a beach watching the sunset with a partner that I am infatuated with. The beat for this song is low-key and subdued; it is great for the spirit of the instrumental. Aminés vocal performance on this song is excellent. I love how he shows off his singing chops on the chorus and shows a different side to his artistry. Honestly, the only thing about this song I am not into is that it is so short(it is only 1:58). On ‘Rebuke,’ Aminé is asserting that the girl who is leaving him will remember him every time she tries to be with someone else. Sossaup,’ which features Amaarae, brings it back to the Jazz Fusion House music that we saw earlier on the record. Even though the instrumental for this one is pretty understated, it is still so intricate and sophisticated. The melody on this track which is mainly provided by synths that sound like an organ and is complemented by various sound effects, sounds so futuristic and atmospheric. beat on ‘Sossaup’ has a Dancehall feeling; it immediately made me think of Wizkid when i heard it. As is the case on so many other songs so far, vocal performances from Aminé and Amaarae are perfect for the song. I love how Aminé shows off his range as a singer, and the light, dainty tone that Amaarae creates gives the song a layer of softness that it benefits from. ‘Sossaup’ is a great track and it is the highlight of this album for me so far. On ‘Sossaup,’ Aminé and Amaarae are talking about how they are going to spoil their significant other. STFU3’ brings us right back to the Trap music theme that has been(surprisingly) prevalent on this record. This track is certainly the weirdest one on the record so far. It is honestly pretty tough to explain. The beat is driven by fast Trap drums that have a strong bass drum and off-kilter Hi-Hats. The “melody”(if one can call it that) is provided by weird robotic squeaking noises that actually sort of remind me of that one Hudson Mohawke song that went viral on Tik Tok last year. Aminé’s vocal performance on this track is pretty good, but it does not outshine or deviate from the weirdness of the beat. On ‘STFU3,’ Aminé is literally telling his haters to shut up and stay in their own lane. I have to say that ‘STFU3’ is a super weird track to me, but I appreciate its ambition.
‘UGH UGH’ is another Trap song with a pretty strange feeling to it. This song has a slow and tranquil feeling to it; it is the kind of song I can imagine listening to while smoking outside around on a hot summer night. Like so many songs on this album, this melody for this song is provided by synths with a feeling that makes me feel like I am floating in space when I hear it. The beat of this song is driven by heavy bass drums and slow Hi-Hats that fit the melody nicely. At the end of ‘UGH UGH,’ the beat switched to Jazz Fusion House music that completely change the feeling of the song and keeps the listener on their toes. The vocal performance on this track from Aminé is very smooth; it is awesome for the feeling of this instrumental. ‘UGH UGH’ is a braggadocious track where Aminé is asserting that he knows he is the man. ‘EYE,’ which features Snoop Dogg, introduces a new style of music to the album. KAYTRAMINÈ decide to capitalize on a popular trend in Pop music with this track. ‘EYE’ has an 80s Synth-Pop sound that is driven by synths that remind me of New Wave music and an upbeat Pop beat that has the energy of an early 90s Madonna Dance-Pop track. This song has the kind of instrumental I would have expected to hear on The Weeknd’s After Hours album. The instrumental on this song is cool but the best thing about this song by far is the vocal performances. I love the tone in which Aminé sings on this track; he has such a robotic sound to his voice that sounds riveting. I also love Snoop Dogg’s verse on the song. I would not have imagined I would ever hear Snoop Dogg on this kind of song, and I have to say his flow is excellent for it. On ‘EYE,’ Aminé and Snoop Dogg are rapping about leaving a bad situation with a significant other because it just is not working out. KAYTRAMINÈ finishes off this record with the song ‘K&A.’ Although this soulful Trap track is not exciting, it is a solid way to close out an album because it has such a triumphant feeling. The melody for this track, which is mainly provided from a sample of an R&B song by Jermaine Jackson that came out in the 1970s, has such a heavenly feeling. It has the kind of sound that I would expect to hear during the happy ending of a movie. Aminé raps with a smooth and sultry flow that fits this song so well. ‘K&A’ may not be the most thrilling song on the record, but it is a fresh switch-up from the rest of the record and feels like a decent way to close things out.
Considering how acclaimed KAYTRANADA and Aminé are in their own rights, it was probably going to be difficult for this record to live up to the expectations that a lot of people had for it. If one was expecting this album to have a lot of innovative and off-the-wall music that no one else today is making, then this record is probably not what they wanted. With that being said, KAYTRAMINÉ is an album that is full of quality. One of the best things about this album to me is how diverse it is. This song is full of multiple kinds of Trap and Dance music that highlight how eclectic and talented these two artists are. Although neither of these two artists do anything super out of the ordinary on this album, they both prove that they are as adaptable as anyone else in the industry. KAYTRAMINÉ is a bright and entertaining album that is full of music that is superb for the summer months. This is a record I will be coming back to all summer(and in future summers), as it just makes me feel good when I listen to it.